Even though the Cobell case is apparently settling, the plaintiffs have filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court to continue to hear the case in the event the settlement falls through.
The U.S. has tentatively agreed to pay $1.4 billion to the 300,000+ plaintiffs in this class action litigation and to give $2 billion more to buy fractional interests of land to remedy other problems regarding tribal reservation lands.
But the settlement requires Congress to appropriate these monies and to do so by Dec. 31. With health care dominating Congress’ attention, this might not happen in time. The parties can agree to extend the Dec. 31 deadline and will probably do so.
But until then, the plaintiffs are protecting themselves by appealing to the Supreme Court a July 24, 2009 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
You can read the petition for certiorari here.